Civil society organizations and deliberative policy making: interpreting environmental controversies in the deliberative system. Dodge, J. Policy Sciences, 47(2):161--185, June, 2014.
Civil society organizations and deliberative policy making: interpreting environmental controversies in the deliberative system [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
This paper argues that while research on deliberative democracy is burgeoning, there is relatively little attention paid to the contributions of civil society. Based on an interpretive conceptualization of deliberative democracy, this paper draws attention to the ways in which civil society organizations employ “storylines” about environmental issues and deliberative processes to shape deliberative policy making. It asks, how do civil society organizations promote storylines in the deliberative system to change policy? How do storylines constitute policy and policy-making processes in the deliberative system? I answer these questions through an empirical analysis of two environmental controversies in the USA: environmental justice in New Mexico and coalbed methane development in Wyoming. Findings indicate that civil society organizations used storylines in both cases to shift the dynamics of the deliberative system and to advance their own interpretations of environmental problems and policy-making processes. Specifically, they used storylines (1) to set the agenda on environmental hazards, (2) to construct the form of public deliberation, changing the rules of the game, (3) to construct the content of public deliberation, shaping meanings related to environmental policy, and (4) to couple/align forums, arenas and courts across the system. These findings suggest that promoting storylines through accommodation and selection processes can be an important mechanism for shaping policy meanings and for improving deliberative quality, although these effects are tempered by discursive and material forms of power, and the competition among alternative storylines.
@article{dodge_civil_2014,
	title = {Civil society organizations and deliberative policy making: interpreting environmental controversies in the deliberative system},
	volume = {47},
	issn = {0032-2687, 1573-0891},
	shorttitle = {Civil society organizations and deliberative policy making},
	url = {http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11077-014-9200-y},
	doi = {10.1007/s11077-014-9200-y},
	abstract = {This paper argues that while research on deliberative democracy is burgeoning, there is relatively little attention paid to the contributions of civil society. Based on an interpretive conceptualization of deliberative democracy, this paper draws attention to the ways in which civil society organizations employ “storylines” about environmental issues and deliberative processes to shape deliberative policy making. It asks, how do civil society organizations promote storylines in the deliberative system to change policy? How do storylines constitute policy and policy-making processes in the deliberative system? I answer these questions through an empirical analysis of two environmental controversies in the USA: environmental justice in New Mexico and coalbed methane development in Wyoming. Findings indicate that civil society organizations used storylines in both cases to shift the dynamics of the deliberative system and to advance their own interpretations of environmental problems and policy-making processes. Specifically, they used storylines (1) to set the agenda on environmental hazards, (2) to construct the form of public deliberation, changing the rules of the game, (3) to construct the content of public deliberation, shaping meanings related to environmental policy, and (4) to couple/align forums, arenas and courts across the system. These findings suggest that promoting storylines through accommodation and selection processes can be an important mechanism for shaping policy meanings and for improving deliberative quality, although these effects are tempered by discursive and material forms of power, and the competition among alternative storylines.},
	language = {en},
	number = {2},
	urldate = {2014-06-11},
	journal = {Policy Sciences},
	author = {Dodge, Jennifer},
	month = jun,
	year = {2014},
	keywords = {Civil society organizations, deliberative democracy, deliberative system, Economic Policy, environmental policy, interpretive policy analysis, Narrative inquiry, Political Science, general, Public administration},
	pages = {161--185},
	file = {art%3A10.1007%2Fs11077-014-9200-y.pdf:files/49249/art%3A10.1007%2Fs11077-014-9200-y.pdf:application/pdf;Snapshot:files/49248/s11077-014-9200-y.html:text/html}
}
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